Play, fun, and adventure are important for all ages, but it may be even more important as we enter the prime of our life. We also need play to enhance our creativity, energize us, relieve stress, improve our health and to add to our personal relationships.
Defining fun for each individual will be different. A good way to think about the subject is the enjoyment felt when you are doing an activity that gives you positive feedback, pleasure and personal satisfaction. You feel lighthearted. Think back to your school years and recess. Play was fun without expectations or stress. It was a time of potential adventure, play, make-believe and social experiences.
So, what happened to us as we aged? Did we lose our desire to play? Often playtime was not a priority as other responsibilities became more important. There are multiple reasons why play became less important, but a few may have been a lack of time, social environment or supposed appropriateness. George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
Studies have shown the benefits of having more fun is better health, increased memory and concentration, improved relationships, reduction in stress levels, and more energy. But opening yourself up to new possibilities can also increase your joy in life, discovery of a new life purpose and more satisfaction and confidence.
Lifestyles have changed over the decades and you may feel much younger than your parents did at the same age. Possibly you feel more confident and ready to try new experiences but wonder what type of play may be in your future. Look back at the items you once thought of doing but either did not have the time, finances or were too afraid to try. Whatever the reasons you had previously, look again. It’s never too late to reconsider and see if the time is right. Some of you may think of adventure as running a marathon, skydiving or other type of extreme quest. Although these may be exactly what you are looking for, it doesn’t mean it is the only play you may want to investigate. Here are a few ideas to think about for your own personal list of future fun and play.
Pushing the limits can exhilarate and thrill because it puts you outside your comfort zone. This type of play may be a little fearful to you. The thought of some of these types of adventures may have your heart pounding. Thrill seekers can find a multitude of play from whitewater rafting, zip lining, exciting roller coasters, and hot air ballooning. As Helen Keller once said, “Life is a daring adventure, or it is nothing.” These types of adventure give us an incredible rush of adrenaline, a high and euphoria.
Play can take on a different meaning when we consider gaining knowledge. You may have always wanted to learn a different language or play an instrument. Perhaps you have a talent and never used it. An example would be a person who can sing or play an instrument and always wanted to perform to an audience. Other examples would be write a book, learn garden techniques, or art and jewelry making classes. Studies conducted have shown lifelong learning help you stay mentally sharp and is critical to your emotional health.
Exploring new places and cultures can thrill and be educational. There is something for every budget. If you have not traveled your state or trips close to home, I would encourage you to explore with short visits around your area. If you enjoy the outdoors, look for walking trails, camp grounds and parks. Take the back roads and look through the small towns and surrounding countryside. Stop and absorb the history of an area or the architecture. If your budget allows explore options for cruising, or motor coach trips. You may have always dreamed of living abroad or going on a safari. With today’s technology research is at your fingertips to learn about the places you want to discover. Travel can enhance creativity, boost happiness, make you more open to change and see the world a little differently.
Play is a wonderful addition anytime in life. By trying new experiences, we can increase our happiness by exploring new places or learning new skills. We gain a new sense of accomplishment or confidence with pushing past our familiar territory. Plus, we learn more about who we are and what we want in our future by challenging our self. Reflect on your life and where you have been and what is next on your list to keep discovering who you want to be and where you want to go.
Learn to explore and bring fun into your life.
“A person’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.” -Friedrich Nietzsche